A Feb. 9 letter was titled “judge knows ruling will be overturned.” I agree that that the ruling was incorrect, but the letter is wrong in accusing Judge David Lampe of ruling for Tastries Bakery owner Cathy Miller because of his concern about being re-elected in 2022. That sort of charge should only be made when there is clear evidence. That does not exist here.
Judges are prevented from responding to charges like that in the letter by their code of ethics, especially when the case is still pending, so I write this letter as a citizen and retired lawyer.
I have no connection to Judge Lampe except that we went to the same high school and I once tried a case in front of him (I lost, by the way, even though I still think I should have won.).
It is not certain that the Supreme Court will reach a different decision from Lampe’s; several court watchers think there is a possibility that the bakery in the U.S. Supreme Court case will win. A judge’s impartiality should not be impugned without clear evidence. The independence of judges — and the public’s confidence in that independence — is essential to our system. The letter writer sees the judge’s motive as winning his re-election race in 2022. Lampe and I went to the same high school a long time ago. I am not tempted, and I don’t think he is so tempted as to ignore his judicial obligations, by being able to keep working in 2022!
— Jay C. Smith, Bakersfield